A much-anticipated restaurant opens its doors just in time for Frankfort Restaurant Week (June 3–June 10). Dos Árboles is serving up tacos, tequila and Frankfort’s first rooftop deck.

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The location alone makes this Frankfort restaurant worth the visit. Set across the street from Betsie Lake, Dos Árboles (735 Main St., Frankfort; 231.399.0770) has stellar water views from the patio and rooftop deck. Two garage doors let the lake breeze make its way to diners indoors, too. The interior is a vibrant mix of red, blue and yellow, with several paintings from Mexico City hanging on the walls. “We want the atmosphere to be energetic,” says Nick Crawford, who owns the restaurant with his chef wife, Natalie Crawford. The couple also owns Birch & Maple, located right next door and known for its from-scratch brunch, lunch and dinner. “It’s upscale yet inviting to everybody,” Nick adds, “whether you want to come in for a happy hour taco and marg and be out the door for $20 or you want to come in and try a $500 tequila.”

Dos Arboles Sign

Photo by Allison Jarrell

Owners of Dos Arboles showing off their new restaurant

Photo by Allison Jarrell

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Nick is curating an ever-growing collection of tequilas, which he hopes will one day be the largest selection in the state. There’s a rolling library ladder behind the bar so the team can reach the top shelves that stretch to the ceiling. Guests will also love the bar’s concrete countertop with native stones, including Petoskeys and Leland Blues.

“This is the fifth restaurant we’ve been a part of opening; the second that’s ours,” Nick says. “We’ve done redesigns and facelifts, but have never had the opportunity to do something from the ground up. It’s been really fun to see it come to fruition from grid paper to this.”

Dos Arboles Restaurant seating

Photo by Allison Jarrell

The menu at Dos Árboles, designed by Natalie, is Mexican-inspired. On it you’ll find shareable plates like pepe cristo (a fried flour tortilla stuffed with shaved ham, Manchego queso and jalapeños that’s drizzled with a raspberry chipotle maple glaze) and chilaquiles divorciados (tortilla chips topped with salsa verde, salsa roja, black beans, queso fresco, aioli and a fried egg). But the tacos take center stage. Filled with everything from shaved ribeye and pico de gallo to roasted squash and pickled cabbage, the individual tacos range from $3.50 to $4.75 so you can try a few. On the beverage menu, there are five margaritas, including one with prickly pear puree and a rotating frozen flavor that’ll change with the seasons. There’s also a mango martini, pineapple mint sangria and more.

Dos Árboles means “two trees” in Spanish and plays on the couple’s first restaurant Birch & Maple, which guests often refer to as “that two tree restaurant,” Nick says. The patio and interior opened on May 27, and the rooftop deck is expected to open in mid-June. The deck sits 40 and will have live music, sunset happy hours and a smaller snacks menu.

Wall decoration at Dos Arboles

Photo by Allison Jarrell

Meet Nick & Natalie

Nick and Natalie met in 2011 while working at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. Nick had left a sales job in Ohio to pursue his passion for hospitality and Natalie was completing her externship for culinary school—she’s a graduate of the Great Lakes Culinary Institute in Traverse City and spent her childhood summers in Frankfort.

The duo plans to create a hospitality group “to attract like-minded individuals to live in this beautiful part of the country year-round and make a good living,” Nick says. “We offer health insurance, profit sharing, 401Ks—benefits that are traditionally only available at 9 to 5 jobs we’re able to provide in the restaurant industry, and that’s important to us.”

Owners of Dos Arboles

Photo by Allison Jarrell

Frankfort Restaurant Week

Sixteen area businesses in Frankfort and Elberta are serving up limited-time menus and items with special pricing at either $15 or $25. Running from June 3 to June 10, Restaurant Week features culinary specials and a food-themed movie, “Chef,” playing at The Garden Theater on June 8. Restaurant Week participants will have a chance to win gift card packages by completing a survey.

Booth at Dos Arboles

Photo by Allison Jarrell

Photo(s) by Allison Jarrell